According to data from the Dubai Land Department, GCC nationals were the largest investors in Dubai real estate in 2015. An estimated total of AED 44 billion was committed over the course of the year.

The strength of GCC investment into Dubai real estate over 2015 demonstrates the continued desirability of the emirate as an investment location and the most sought after investment destination in the region. Also, Dubai has emerged as the most preferred location for real estate investment in the Middle East during 2016, based on the findings of Cluttons’ latest research.

According to real estate consultancy Cluttons, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah are the region’s most popular investment destinations amongst GCC High Net Worth Individuals.

In partnership with YouGov, Cluttons’ 2016 Middle East Private Capital Survey shows that 63% of GCC HNWI plan to invest in their preferred real estate locations during 2016. Of those surveyed, 27% identified Dubai in their top three destinations within the GCC, while 21% chose Abu Dhabi and 8% selected Sharjah.

“For the Gulf states as a whole, the oil price decline has certainly put budgets under pressure and has triggered a number of macro policy amendments including the phasing out of energy subsidies and the introduction of VAT. We expect these measures to put a clear squeeze on household finances but for now the investment sentiment of the region’s High Net Worth Individuals remains positive, particularly towards the UAE which is seen as somewhat of a regional investment safe haven,” Steven Morgan, Senior Partner at Cluttons tells World Property Journal.

Top locations for investment

The majority of respondents to Cluttons’ survey were unsure of which specific area in Dubai they would target for an investment. But, those who did name specific locations for residential investment, The Springs and Bur Dubai were the most mentioned areas, followed by Deira, Jumeirah Islands and Jumeirah Village. For the office asset class, Deira and Downtown Dubai are most popular, with Bur Dubai and Business Bay coming in joint second.

Sharjah’s high ranking in Cluttons’ survey can be attributed in part to the emergence of the emirate’s first master planned communities which have been very well received by the local and international investment community.

Other countries in the region

Elsewhere in the region, the survey shows that 63% of HNWI investors in both Muscat and Manama are likely to invest in their preferred locations in 2016, while 65% of investors in the remaining GCC countries (Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia) will target investments in their preferred locations throughout the year.


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